Magna International has reported a surprise third quarter operating income of US$81m, net income of $51m and earnings per share of $0.45, increases of $193m, $266m and $2.38, respectively, year on year, benfiting from cost cutting an restructuring started last year as the credit crisis hit the auto sector. Total sales fell 16% to $4.7bn.

Analysts on average had expected a loss of 19 cents a share, on revenue of $4.53 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The supplier is not looking at taking over any other automakers following the collapse of its deal to buy a stake in Opel, the auto parts maker's co-CEO, Don Walker, said in a results conference call last night.

"We're not looking at any other transactions in that space," Walker said, responding to a query as to whether Magna might be looking at Ford's Volvo or GM's Saab.

"Right now we're focusing back on the core business, which is automotive parts, and we have no discussions going on right now on any other vehicle-type acquisitions."

Magna shares rose over 10% on Wednesday after the GM/Opel deal fell through, Reuters noted.

"Most of the analysts are happy to see the end of it (the deal) and it appears in the share price movement, that was the same conclusion in the investment community," David Tyerman, an analyst at Genuity Capital Markets, told the news agency.

There was concern among some in the industry that Magna was buying into a cash-burning, market-share losing operation, Tyerman said.

Other risks associated with the deal included Magna's lack of experience in running an automaker, especially on the sales and marketing side, and the possibility of its parts business suffering as the company began competing with automakers it supplies.

During the third quarter, vehicle production declined 20% to 2.3m units in North America and 9% to 2.9m units in Europe, a Magna statement said.

North American average dollar content per vehicle increased 8%, while European average dollar content per vehicle was essentially unchanged.

Complete vehicle assembly sales decreased 38% to $428m while complete vehicle assembly volumes declined 42% to 14,700 units.

For the nine months to 30 September, vehicle production declined 41% to 5.8m units in North America and 27% to 8.5m units in Europe and North American average dollar content per vehicle increased 1%, while European average dollar content per vehicle decreased 3%.

Complete vehicle assembly sales decreased 56% to $1.3bn while complete vehicle assembly volumes declined 68% to 40,800 units.

Total sales fell 37% to $11.9bn and the operating loss was $386m, net loss was $354m and loss per share $3.17, decreases of $879m, $573m and $5.09, respectively.